Today’s promise by Premier Gutwein to featherbed private logging corporations with $10 million for machinery and equipment and $1.3m more for publicity, is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his intention to feed the corporations which feed back to the Liberal Party, former senator Bob Brown said. Gutwein’s announcement was notable for conflating the plantation and native forest logging industries to shepherd the latter past proper public scrutiny
“This money should be going to Tasmanian schools and hospitals. Earlier in the week the logging industry said it ‘needed to see’ Gutwein build a ’new woodchip ship loader’ at Bell Bay as well as truck tipping rooms and a stacking conveyor at Burnie to ‘debottleneck’ the rush to export woodchips and logs out of the state. I call on the premier to clear the air on his commitment to these much more expensive taxpayer-funded demands by the logging bosses as well,” Brown said.
“The Premier has effectively announced a forests-for-biofuels industry for Tasmania just as the rest of the world is up in arms about this most destructive use of wild forests.”
“The only way an honest forest offset scheme can be set up in Tasmania is for native forests earmarked for logging to be permanently protected - and the premier has ruled that out. He should spell out what his so-called offset program is so that the public is clear about it before 1 May.”
The Bob Brown Foundation is hosting a Rally for the Environment in Hobart next Saturday.